Monday, July 30, 2007

Freedom French Toast

I found the name of this recipe a bit stupid but we looked past that. This french toast recipe is from La Dolce Vegan. I used an electric griddle so I'm never sure if I'm on the right temperature. I'm sure there's a chart some where but I've never looked it up. So, the french toast stuck to the griddle. It was non-stick but evidently I should have used oil.

Other then that this french toast didn't really firm up but it did brown and it had a nice flavor. Very french toasty. Sarah Kramer calls for about 1/2 a box of tofu. I didn't want to waste the rest so I blended the left overs with maple syrup and some cinnamon for a creamy topping. Then we just threw on some strawberries.

This was pretty easy, I'd make it again.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Chicken Birth

Ramsey and I were watching animals be born on youtube. You can really find anything on there. We came across this and I had to share. It's really funny.

BTW Even after showing the kids lots of animals be born and even one human baby they still are arguing with me that a baby does not come out of a vagina. What else can I do to prove this?! I'm sure not getting pregnant again.

Alternative Vegan

Joe is still off with my camera, so no pictures. Tonight for dinner I tried out two of Dino Sarma's recipes from Alternative Vegan. I made his Basic Broccoli and Baked Potato Rounds.

I had never thought to bake broccoli and that is the one thing that I will take away from this recipe. It had a nice texture. As for the seasoning, I didn't care for it. I used half the called for cayenne but it was still to spicy for the kids. I didn't really care for the citrus flavor, either.

The baked potato rounds are another story. Everyone loved these. Ramsey ate all of hers and I never see her finish anything. The potatoes bake pretty quickly and they have a nice seasoning. Next time I'll use more salt.

This afternoon when Teresa was over I made a double batch of Full Meal Muffins from The Vegan Lunchbox blog with 4 bananas on their last leg. I used 2 cups of whole wheat flour, 1 1/2 cups of white flour and a 1/2 cup of soy flour. I didn't have any zucchini so I used shredded carrots instead. We ground the walnuts into a meal because Marcos doesn't like chunks and none of use care. I also soaked the currants in hot water for a few minutes to add a bit of moisture that might be lacking since carrots aren't as juicy as zucchini.

These have a really awesome flavor. All of the kids liked them. The molasses wasn't over powering and they had a light banana flavor. Next time I will grate the carrots smaller. We ended up with 5 dozen mini-muffins. We threw them in some freezer Ziploc bags and now we can pull out a few at a time for kids snacks.

Over all it was a productive day. We had those great Acai bowls for breakfast again and I got a Romertopf Clay Baker to make the vegan "pork" tenderloin that Bryanna Clark Grogan demonstrates on the Everday Dish DVD. I ended up buying the wrong size so I need to go and exchange it. Oh well, I'll have to have another Acai bowl. Poor me.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Everyday Dish

I finally broke down and bought the Everyday Dish DVD. I've heard so many good things about the recipes that were included on this DVD I couldn't resist any longer.

Today I made the Vegan Chicken Cutlets by Bryanna Clark Grogan. When they were done I cut them into nugget size pieces and dredged them in whole wheat pastry flour, then soy milk, then bread crumbs. After that I fried them in a thin layer of canola oil. They were very tasty with a bit of ketchup to dip them in.

I also made the Chocolate Mint Melties by Dreena Burton. Dreen sure does know her cookies. Actually, I don't think I've ever had a bad recipe from her. These were great. They have two different sources of mint. You use a little bit of mint extract and you also use a chopped up bar of mint dark chocolate.

Joe has stolen my camera for his pilgrimage to Comic Con. So unless he's home before everything is gobbled up, I'm not going to have any pictures.

I highly recommend this DVD.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Coconut Macaroon Ice Cream

I tried a new recipe out of Vice Cream. This coconut macaroon ice cream calls for coconut milk as part of the liquid instead of all water like many of the others. It also had cashews, maple syrup, toasted coconut, and vanilla and almond extract.

Once again I used 3/4 cup of maple syrup instead of the 1 cup it called for. I think the sweetener could be lowered even more in this recipe. It was pretty sweet and very rich. Plain ice cream cones would have been a good palate cleanser.

When I first tasted the ice cream while it was churning I wasn't that impressed. However, after I added the toasted coconut, at the end, I was in heaven. The toasted coconut makes this amazing.

You can change the recipe by adding cocoa and making it a Chocolate Coconut Macaroon but that sounded like to much to me. But after having tasted the original recipe I can only guess that the cocoa makes a great addition. Next time I'll be trying that.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Bravo Burritos

I took a picture of our burritos before they were rolled up because rolled they really aren't that interesting. I used the Bravo Burrito recipe from Vegan Delights. Really it's a recipe for the beans. I can't really think why you would need a recipe for the entire burrito.

Anyway, they were very good. I like how the beans turned out. We also had guacamole, soy pepper jack, and the obvious veggies. It crossed my mind to make some sort of rice and then I forgot. I will make sure not to forget next time. I like the texture that rice lends a bean burrito.

There is plenty of beans left over and I have an extra avocado (had to hide it from Isaac) so I know what I'm having for lunch tomorrow. I need bigger tortillas.

On a side note Guadalajara on Mission Gorge, it used to be Los Ponchos, has really good beans. They use vegetable oil, not lard. Also, their Mexican Guacamole has no dairy. I like corn tortillas but I need to check if their flour are lard free also, just so I know.

Aloo Gobi Potatoes & Cauliflower

Still on my quest for the greatest Indian food I tried out Sara Kramers take on it from La Dolce Vegan! I used her recipe for Aloo Gobi.

In her recipe she calls for a 1/2 cup of water or broth. I used water and I also ended up having to double the amount. The recipe had a definite spice from the hot pepper and the cayenne but it lacked the complex background flavors. If I were to make this recipe again I would not use water and hope the broth would boost the richness. I would also use less cayenne.

I also made La Dolce Vegan's Quick Vegetable Rice. Usually I use my rice maker to make rice but I followed the directions and did it on the stove in a saucepan. I think I would use broth in this instead of water also. It only calls for water in the directions but it needs that little bit of a boost in flavor. Other then that, it's a quick and easy rice recipe. I like the spices that are included.

All in all, nothing was amazing but it was good enough.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Brownie Edges

I love the edges and corners of brownies. They are my favorite part. These cookies remind me so much of a brownie edge in both taste and texture.

The recipe is Sinfully Delicious Double Chocolate Chip Cookies from the book Vegan Family Favorites by Erin Pavlina. They ended up a lot flatter then I expected before they went in the oven. I was prepared for them to be a little disappointing.

These cookies definitely did not disappoint. They had a good texture and flavor. The leftovers that I had today weren't as crisp but we still good. I wouldn't make this cookies very far in advance of a holiday or occasion.

These are a new favorite.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Scalloped Potatoes

I didn't notice that this picture was so bad until it was uploaded and I only had the one. I apologize.

Tonight I tried out the scalloped potatoes recipe from Vive le Vegan! They have a really good flavor and lots of sauce. It doesn't taste like cheese to me but for some reason it totally sums up what I expect scalloped potatoes to taste like. Sounds kind of odd, I know. I would definitely make these again for a big Sunday dinner or holiday feast.

Along side our scalloped potatoes is the obvious corn and peas. The ugly patty is actually a pretty tasty soy sausage and the bean salad medley is from a Trader Joe's can (it's one of our favorites)

I recommend Dreena Burton once again.

Friday, July 20, 2007

TVP Tacos

Ramsey has been sick so I haven't been able to post. Here is Wednesday night's dinner, TVP tacos.

I sauteed a chopped onion until it was golden and then threw in the tvp. I add some salt, pepper, taco seasoning, and garlic salt. We plopped that into some warmed corn tortillas and topped with lettuce and tomato.

These were pretty basic. Next time I'll add more seasoning and probably some soy sauce. Everyone ate it. TVP is very quick and versatile.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Pizza and Breadsticks

Tonight for dinner I made pizza with soy cheese and seitan pepperoni. (I didn't not make the pepperoni) I took a chance and used the pizza dough recipe from Vegan with a Vengeance. I figured there isn't really a way to mess that up.

One recipe yields two 14 inch pizzas. Since we didn't need two, instead of halving the recipe I decided to make bread sticks. I squeezed the dough into little bread sticks shapes and sprinkled them with Parmesan "Cheese" from The Vegan Family Cookbook. I also used a little bit of the leftover soy mozzarella.

I really liked this crust recipe and will use it again. It worked great for the bread sticks as well. It makes a nice chewy crust. The dough rises for one hour and then you punch it down. It's best to let it rest at least 10 minutes or longer but that's it. It's very quick compared to other dough recipes I have.

I'm still not sure what to think about Vegan with a Vengeance but for tonight I'm happy.

White Bean and Roasted Garlic Soup

Umm, I finished my bowl of soup by taking a bite of toast ever time I took a spoon full of soup. I was really to lazy to make anything else after we all tasted it. The kids said that this soup tasted like skunk and turned their noses up at it. Joe finished his bowl but when cleaning the kitchen made sure that I didn't want to save the left overs.

That about sums up this experience. Honestly, the Vegan with a Vengeance cookbook is really hit and miss with me. I can't decide if it's some sort of regional/ethnic flair that I'm just not accustomed to, and dislike, or what. Every time I flipped through this cookbook at the store it never looked that great to me. But so many people reference to recipes in VWAV that I cracked and bought it. I've been pretty disappointed ever since.

So, we won't be making this soup again.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chocolate Cookies with White Chocolate Chips

I'm sure everyone will admire my will power, I waited a whole twenty four hours before using my white chocolate chips in a recipe. Impressive, no?

I used the Double Chocolate Almond Explosion Cookies recipe from Vive le Vegan! I replaced the called for amounts of regular chocolate and almonds with my white chocolate chips. I should have also replaced the almond extract with more vanilla extract. The cookies were good but they really didn't need that nut flavor.

They are very pretty cookies and once again I'll say that I love Dreena Burton. I've never had this recipe in it's original form but now I'm anxious to try it. I bet the almonds make them amazing. This recipe doesn't turn out an overly rich, super chocolaty, cookie and I like that.

Next in line I'm thinking something along the lines of white chocolate macadamia nut.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Date Night

My mom took the kids out this afternoon and early evening and so Joe and I had some time to ourselves. We decided to go out to dinner and walk around Hillcrest. I forgot the camera so I couldn't take any pictures of our great dinner.

We went to India Palace on University. They are very accommodating. I had Aloo Matter and it was excellent. Our waiter checked with the chef to make sure there was no ghee used and the chef sent the waiter back to ask which oil I would prefer since he had more then one choice. They were very nice.

Joe had something with lentils that I can't remember but he said that it was good. This is the second time we've visited India Palace and we'll go back again.

From there we walked to Whole Foods to pick up a treat for dessert. I got a Soy Delicious ice cream sandwich and Joe got some sort of healthy cookie.

After that we drove down to All Vegan to look around. Joe got a new pair of flip flops that are very squishy. The lady said they are made out of yoga mat material. We got into a conversation with her about Ramsey because she obsessed with the little kids shirts they have. Ramsey is to small for a 4 but they don't carry 3. It came up about how Ramsey is so little and the lady freaked out. She was drilling me about if she ate enough fat and all this stuff. She said we didn't need any more vegans in the news killing their babies. That was a little insulting. (BTW I don't believe that case has any thing to do with veganism only starvation)

In any case we had a nice evening. I got some white chocolate chips for a future baking adventure with chocolate cookie and white chocolate chips. I have a new chapstick to hide in my pillow case for midnight chapped lips and there are leftovers in the fridge waiting to be tomorrows wonderful lunch. I even had time for a little craft project when we got home. Does everyone love my beautiful shirt? It's a total Sipz knock off. I'm very proud. LOL

Friday, July 13, 2007

Blueberry Bounty Buns

errr.... or make that raspberry. Dreena Burton describes these as a cross between a muffin and a scone. I couldn't agree more. I was out of frozen blueberries but figured raspberries would do. Everyone gobbled them up. The raspberries had a nice tartness to them but I think I would like blueberries better.

These buns have a bit of a crunchy edge and soft inside. While they were hot we spread Earth Balance on them and ate them with forks. The cold leftovers were consumed with hands.

Another home run for Vive le Vegan!
Did you like my sports analogy? Everyone is impressed, aren't they?

Thursday, July 12, 2007


Joe has been on vacation and we have been doing a lot of eating out. Today for lunch we went to Sipz again. The food, as always, was great. As a perk the service was much better this time.

The kids had their usual, orange "chicken".

Joe tried out the sweet & sour "chicken".

I had the Spicy Thai Fried Rice. It was really good. I ordered it medium heat and it was perfect. The flavor was so awesome. It will be hard to try new things on the menu and not to order this all the time.

That picture really doesn't do the dish justice.

So, no cooking today. Maybe tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Coconut Chocolate Chip Cookies

I'd heard rave reviews of La Dolce Vegan's coconut chocolate chip cookies and had to try them out. We are definitely coconut fans over at my house.

These cookies have a very mild coconut flavor. It almost taste like you have used some coconut oil instead of the shredded coconut that the recipe calls for. The recipe tell you to roll the dough into balls and bake. I found that they stay a little to round for my taste. In the second batch I flattened the balls a bit. That made them the flatter more common cookie shape, when baked.

Either way the cookies had a great texture. Slightly crispy on the outside and chewy inside, my favorite. I would make these again.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Chickpea Ratatouille

"That's what rat's eat." This argument went on for a pretty long time. It may not have been my best timing to try out the recipe for chickpea ratatouille from Vive le Vegan! so soon after the kids had seen the movie Ratatouille.

I ended up giving the kids each a bowl of cereal and sat myself down to a nice plate of ratatouille over brown rice. The kids soon came wandering over to check out what I had. They both ended up loving it! Neither child really wanted to have straight bites of tomato but they loved the chickpeas and the rice.

As for myself, I loved it. I take back what I said about chickpeas in a previous post. For the first time I didn't use chickpeas from a can. I used my pressure cooker to make them myself. This made the biggest difference. They were a much better texture. The flavors all blended together very well. We had a bunch of leftovers and had it for dinner again the next day.

This recipe was a pleasant surprise and I'll be making it again.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Lately I've been having this urge to make my own granola. Then after we had those great Acai bowls I just had to do it. I used Cathe Olson's recipe called Millet Crunch Granola. Ummm, if you can't tell from the picture, mine has no millet. But next time it will. I just didn't have any.

I love that this recipe has tahini in it. No one in my house likes it plain and I just love running across recipes that sneak it in. This recipe is also unique in that it uses agave nectar in loo of maple syrup. I've read that agave nectar doesn't cause the sugar spike that many other sweeteners do.

I add chopped dry apple and some dried cranberries. Next time I might try some cinnamon and just apples. I didn't have pepitas so I used slivered almonds. This recipe really is very adaptable. I imagine most granola recipes are really just jumping off points.

If you like cereal, muesli, or of course granola, give this recipe a shot.
You have to scroll down to see it.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Breakfast Bowl

Yesterday in PB we had these really great Acai bowls for breakfast. This morning I really wanted another. I didn't have any Acai in the freezer but I did have blueberries.

I blended together frozen blueberries, two soy yogurts, a banana and some of the DHA Silk. I poured a little of that in a bowl, layered some Ezekiel 4.9 cereal on top of that, another layer of the berry blend, then a layer of cut up fruit.

I think the yogurt made my blend to sweet, but I still finished the bowl. I'm going to have to get some Acai to get that more tart berry flavor. This is such a filling but refreshing breakfast.

Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares

Last night I made the Chocolate P-Nut Butter Squares from Vive le Vegan! They were amazing. The top stays a lot more gooey then I would imagine. So, I would keep them in the fridge until just a bit before serving.

To me, these taste like a less sickening peanut butter cup. The oat crust cuts the sweetness. They aren't to crumbly and keep their shape well.

I will defiantly make these again. I might try chunky peanut butter and see how that turns. The little bites of nuts might give it an extra kick. Yum!

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Vegan Zone

We went to lunch at the new Vegan Zone restaurant down in Pacific Beach. Originally we went down for breakfast. They have tofu scrambles, pancakes and other breakfast items on their menu. But they don't open until 11:30. In my world that is lunch but maybe not for the people who live in PB.

Even though it was lunch time, Ramsey and Isaac still had the organic pancakes. They were thinner then I can ever get them and of course the golden color that I can't obtain either. They were $4. The plates were licked clean. They also shared a young coconut, one of their favorites, for $3. They drank all of the juice and ate the meat as dessert.

We got there around 12:30 and Joe wanted to try the lentil burger but they didn't have the lentils ready yet. So instead he had the garden burger. It was composed of grilled mushrooms, onion, zucchini, braised eggplant and bell pepper. He said that it was good and we all picked at his fries. They had the greatest fries I've had in a long time. Joe's burger cost $8 and kumbucha for $4.

Freaky looking, isn't it? I had the Pad Thai at $8. It was your average Pad Thai except for the soy shrimp. When my plate was set down I couldn't believe how much they looked like shrimp. After my first bite I nearly freaked out. I forced Joe to take a bite to try. They aren't as strongly flavored as I remember shrimp being but the texture is so insanely similar.

We'll be sure to go back to Vegan Zone to see check out the other things they have to offer. I found the prices to be pretty reasonable and the place is cute. There were no other diners when we were there but it is the middle of a Thursday.

Vegan Zone is at 859 Hornblend St, San Diego Ca. 92109. They also deliver 858-272-1913.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Mock "Chicken" Salad

It's been so hot that I haven't wanted to cook. After a late lunch no one wanted dinner. So, I used mock "chicken" seitan in a nice fresh salad.

I have a lot of seitan left and I'm looking forward to some sort of taco.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Silk Soy Milk Plus with Omega-3 DHA

We were at People's Co-Op yesterday and I saw the much talked about Silk with DHA. We figured we'd give it a try.

In a past blog entry I mentioned that I give my kids Nutru Omega-Zen-3 Liquid. One bottle holds 150 doses for children of 150 mg. Online and in stores I've mostly seen the drops run about $28.

I decided to do some math to see what the Silk would come out as. A 1/2 cup of Silk has the 150 mg of DHA. A half gallon cost me $3.20. Unless my math is wrong (which would not be that surprising) The prices come out pretty equal with the same doses of Silk being $30 but you're also getting soy milk in the deal.

This soy milk tasted no different to me then any other. There was no fishy smell which the drops do have. The kids haven't minded the fishiness of the drops but we can smell it on them and neither of us can stomach the drops in our own mouths. We've tried the flax oil/dha mix and, unless blended with something, I think it's icky. I have a problem sucking down oil.

To me this soy milk is the greatest idea. I plan on buying this to have around for drinking and cheaper ones for cereal and cooking.

Chocolate Raspberry Ice Cream

I made chocolate raspberry ice cream following the recipe from Agnes on A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise. She has so many different flavors and ideas.

There is a very rich chocolate flavor because of the use of two different types of chocolate, cocoa powder and chocolate chips. I like the flavor of the raspberries but wished that it was a little stronger. I think to make a stronger raspberry flavor it would be best to use a raspberry sauce that could be poured on top.

I really did like this but in the future I will experiment with adding raspberries to the Vice Cream chocolate recipe. I actually prefer that and there are a lot less ingredients. I believe it's just cashews, cocoa powder, vanilla, maple syrup and water. I'm guessing the Vice Cream recipe is a bit healthier.

All in all, it was great. I'd make it again IF I happened to have the ingredients around. More often then not I do not have soy creamer but do have raw cashews. I love all of her flavor ideas and want to experiment with some. Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel sounds like a good place to start.